Man Starts Intentional Fire, Faces Arson Charges
When couples break up, there can be a lot of drama involved. Sometimes exes will stalk their former partner or even make threats to them. Threats can be scary and lead to serious crimes.
A Georgia man was recently arrested for arson after attempting to burn down the home of an ex-girlfriend. The man entered the woman’s home on Skidder Way in Jasper on November 20. He threatened to start a fire and did so as law enforcement arrived at the scene.
Pickens County deputies and the Cherokee County S.W.A.T. team were called to the home. The woman called police, claiming that her ex-boyfriend entered her home and threatened to burn the house down. The 54-year-old man refused to leave the home and had a warrant on him for aggravated assault.
The S.W.A.T. team and negotiators were called for assistance. The man started a fire and he was detained by the S.W.A.T. team. The man was carrying a lighter and lighter fluid when he was taken into police custody.
The man was arrested and faces multiple criminal charges, including arson, burglary, and aggravated assault. No law enforcement officers were injured.
Types of Arson Charges
There are three degrees of arson charges in Georgia. All are prosecuted as felonies:
- First-degree. First-degree arson charges are the most serious. A person can face these charges if they knowingly used fire or explosives to cause damage to a house, building, vehicle, boat, or any other property or structure with the intent to endanger human life. The penalties are 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
- Second-degree. Second-degree arson is when a person has used fire or explosives to damage a property or structure not covered by first-degree arson laws. The penalties are 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
- Third-degree. A person can face third-degree arson charges if it can be proven that the person knowingly damaged someone else’s personal property valued at $25 or more, any insured personal property valued at $25 or more, or personal property valued at $25 or more in an attempt to defraud the co-owner. The penalties are 1-5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
The primary defense to arson is consent, meaning the person had permission to light the property on fire. However, a person cannot use consent as a defense when the arson is done to commit a felony, to endanger human life, or to defraud a spouse or co-owner from the property.
Contact Us Today
Arson is a felony offense that should not be taken lightly. You could face severe punishment for this type of crime.
First-degree arson is especially serious. Call a Georgia arson lawyer from Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers to learn more about your defense strategies. Schedule a free consultation by filling out the online form or calling 770-685-6400. The firm serves Georgia, including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek, and Sandy Springs.